Inequality and Exclusion in Southeast Asia: Old Fractures, New Frontiers
Lee Hwok-Aun, Christopher Choong
Paperback, 344 pages
Inequality is a defining global issue of our times. Southeast Asia stands out in some ways; the 2010s have seen most countries in the region reduce income gaps. Nonetheless, inequality levels remain high, especially in the middle-income to high-income countries, and popular disaffection and economic anxiety prevail, even while official statistics may paint more buoyant scenarios. The age-old problem of group-based exclusion in the development process manifests in new ways. This book provides up-to-date overviews of inequality levels and trends, primarily related to income, but also wealth and other socio-economic variables pertaining to education and health. The country chapters also examine salient themes of inequality, especially structural changes and public policies to redress inequality and exclusion, labour market developments, population groups, regional dynamics, and informal economies. We gain an appreciation for the unique conditions and diverse experiences of each country, and draw comparative insights across the region.